Revell 1/32 EC-145 'REGA' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2007||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Subject||Eurocopter EC-145 'REGA'||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||4492||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Still one of the nicest helicopter kits on the market!||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$30.50|
For a look at the history of the EC-145 program, check out our previous review of an earlier Revell EC-145 here.
Since we last looked this kit over, a few interesting things have happened. First, the US Army released a requirement for a new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and while this program didn't get much press coverage, contenders came out for this lucrative contract. The intent is for a new generation of aircraft to replace the aging fleet of UH-1 Iroquois and OH-58 Kiowas. The contenders were two US manufactured aircraft, the Bell 412 (UH-1N), and the MD Helicopters' MD900 NOTAR, the Italian Augusta-Bell AB-139 (Super Twin Huey), and the Eurocopter EC-145.
Second, in a very welcome, yet unusual move, the US Army did not automatically select one of the US helicopters. Instead, the Army opted for the Eurocopter EC-145 for it's next generation utility helicopter and this new member to Army Aviation is the UH-72A Lakota.
This new aircraft will be build in the United States, giving Eurocopter owner EADS a stronger foothold to compete against rival Boeing in the high-stakes USAF air refueling tanker program.
This Revell/Germany EC-145/BK-117C kit is by far the most detailed kit released in this scale for this size of helicopter and rivals Trumpeter in terms of detail. The kit is presented on ten trees, three of which are molded in white, five in light gray, and two in clear. The instructions show that a small percentage of these parts are not used in this project.
Your subject in this release is the Swiss REGA air ambulance circa 2005 and you can see from the box art that its red and white paint scheme is an eye-catcher.
Unlike previous helicopter kits from Revell, this one has a VERY nice interior for either version. The rear cabin has separate interior walls and a ceiling panel to provide a more realistic look. This kit is super-detailed straight out of the box!
The flight deck is as nicely done as the rear cabin. The new instrumentation cluster pod adopted out of the EC-135 features all-glass instruments which should make this the Playstation version of utility helicopters. One other nice touch - all of the interior seats have seatbelts and harnesses molded in place. You will have an ample supply of parts left over to equip the inside of another aircraft. This makes me think I can use these surplus parts to dress up the plain interior of Revell's earlier BK-117 kit.
One other nice feature of this kit is two different ways to mount the rotor mast to the aircraft. One is the traditional mounting to a rotatable base plate which makes carrying the helicopter by the rotor head practical. The other allows for the main rotor assembly to be removed safely for transport.
Once the interior is built-up and installed inside the fuselage, you have some other nice options to consider. First, the clamshell doors at the rear of the aircraft can be positioned open or closed. The sliding doors on the port and starboard sides of the aircraft are also positionable. Only the pilots' doors are molded shut (unfortunately).
Take a look at those decals. In addition to the distinctive Eurocopter black outlines around the windows, this set also provides the unique markings for five aircraft:
- EC-145, HB-ZRA, REGA, Switzerland, 2005
- EC-145, HB-ZRB, REGA, Switzerland, 2005
- EC-145, HB-ZRC, REGA, Switzerland, 2005
- EC-145, HB-ZRD, REGA, Switzerland, 2005
- EC-145, HB-ZRE, REGA, Switzerland, 2005
The instructions show the differences in marking, colors and equipment for each of these aircraft.
This is the best helicopter that Revell has ever produced and as I said earlier, rivals Trumpeter in the level of detail. At the suggested retail price of $30.50 USD, this kit is as much a bargain as it is a work of art.